While sound mental health is not necessarily a requirement for living, it is required for the individual to lead a fulfilling life. When referring to a ‘fulfilling life’, it is generally thought that such a life would include the ability to form relationships, maintain those relationships, study, hold down a job, maintain an apartment, and much more. The slightest change in an individual’s mental health can cause serious problems and sabotage their ability to perform the social tasks which may seem easy to those who are still of sound mind.
Mental health is most commonly defined as a state of well being in which a person is able to cope with the stresses brought on throughout a normal life. In addition to coping with those stresses, however, they will be able to lead a productive life while contributing to their community. Through this, it is clear that mental and psychological well being have many influencers which include the socioeconomic circumstances.
Attributes and Behaviours of the Individual
Here we are discussing the individual’s ability to deal with their own internal thoughts and feelings while engaging in everyday life. For many, it can be difficult to deal with themselves and to deal with the responsibilities that the social world forces upon them. This can include social activities, respecting views that others hold, and much more.
Did you know that the individual’s mental health will often be influenced by genetic and even biological factors? Conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, for example, are common and are often caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. This is only a short list of the potential conditions that could lead to an inability to function, however.
Whether or not the individual is able to flourish and thrive is often determined by their immediate surroundings. For example, their ability to engage with friends, family members, or even earn a living for themselves. Situations that limit these abilities will be bad for the individual and will stunt their growth. This is especially true for socioeconomic situations that remain pertinent as well as for the elderly who live in isolation. This is a common problem service like Gabriel’s Angels face and tackle every day.
Assessing the Environment
Along with the aforementioned factors, there are also several environmental factors that can have a huge effect on an individual. Such issues can include the access to basic commodities, exposure to cultural beliefs and practices, financial crisis, and much more. In addition to that, there could be increased rates of alcohol use, suicide, gender inequality, discrimination, conflict, and much more. Some or all of these factors can take a toll on the mental health of the individual and could cause them to develop differently than they would have in a more stable situation.
The aforementioned determinants will interact with each other in sometimes unpredictable ways. For example, a person’s self-worth or self-esteem will often be determined by the amount of social support that they are receiving from those around them. This, however, could be influenced by political stability, economic growth, or even social justice in the country.
The Promotion of Mental Health
There are many risks posed to mental health, and because every single case is different, the responses need to be multi-faceted. Some of the most noteworthy strategies include the nurturing of core individual attributes during the formative years. In addition to that, it will be important for caregivers and mental health professionals to be able to recognise potential issues and behavioural problems early on in the individual’s life. This especially applies to those in the early stages of life as they are impressionable. It is important to create environments that promote positive social interactions, social protection for underprivileged individuals, anti-discrimination laws, and of course, opportunities for those who suffer from mental disorders. Ultimately, a person is the product of their environment and it is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that the environment is stable.